The answer to this question is something that many people ask and those that feel their sin is unforgiveable, Scripture reveals otherwise and this truly is good news to the one who hears and understands this.
This past Sunday night at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Pastor Josh Van Geersdaele preached a very convicting, yet challenging sermon regarding prayer and maintaining a consistent and healthy prayer life.
His sermon focused on a passage from Isaiah 43:22-26 and as he was preaching, Pastor Josh read Isaiah 43:25, which says, "I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."
This is an all too familiar verse and one that many Christians return to, when they have fallen in sin and feel the guilt and shame of their selfishness and dishonor they have brought to God.
They feel that whatever the sin may be just could not be forgotten by God, despite the explicit words that God "will not remember your sins."
Sin is an offense to God and throughout the Bible it is recognized as such. It's ugly. It reveals how depraved our lives truly as it reflects one thing and one thing only: disobedience. Disobedience to authority and specifically, disobedience to God's authority over a person's life.
I've been there, where I've sinned against God and wondered how could He forgive me, for my selfishness and disobedience to Him?
How could I receive God's forgiveness when I have not made my life a living sacrifice to the Lord. When I have not walked in the Spirit, but rather in the flesh.
I have even expressed, like many others have too, "I don't deserve to be forgiven. God won't forget this one that I've done, no, not this one, not this time."
When Pastor Josh mentioned this verse in Isaiah, I looked up what "blots out" means in Hebrew.
The Hebrew word is מחה, mâchâh (pronounced: maw-khaw'). It means to stroke or rub; by implication to erase; to abolish, blot out, destroy, utterly, wipe (away, out).
God does what we cannot do ourselves regarding sin and that is to never remember it ever again. He completely wipes away any remembrance of it whatsoever and He does so through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the blood of Christ that cleanses every sinner, from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
Not a partial number of sins that have been committed. Not only the "big sins" that you or I think should definitely be forgiven. All sin has been atoned for through Jesus Christ and every person that has been born again by the spirit of God has been cleansed from sin by His blood.
What makes this so interesting and so profound is the Hebrew word for "blots out" מחה, mâchâh.
When a person has come to faith in Jesus Christ, they have acknowledged that Christ died for their sins and they also acknowledge that no other work could be done by themselves, to merit a complete and full removal of the guilt of sin, but the blood of Christ that was shed on Calvary.
Those words are so profound regarding the extent to which God has removed guilt and condemnation of sin.
He erases our sin that has grotesquely stained us before God by cleansing us in the blood of His Son. (1 John 1:7)
He abolishes our sin, nailing it to the cross, satisfying His wrath for sin and giving us peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
He utterly, wipes away, wipes out sin completely from our lives, where it once stood as a great weight of guilt and condemnation, grace now abounds toward us even more (Romans 5:20).
If you are reading this and you are not a Christian, you are not cleansed by the blood of Christ through your repentance of sin and your faith in Christ for the salvation of your soul, I encourage you to do so now because apart from faith in Christ, the record of your sin remains and the punishment of eternity in hell will be yours forever.
If you are a Christian and have found yourself in a state of guilt regarding sin that you have committed against God, know that God's word is true and He has completely put away with your sin, through His Son. Repent and humble yourself before God and seek to treasure the gift of salvation and God's grace toward you.
I would encourage you to read chapters 4 and 5 of Romans and read it often, study it and see just how much God has justified the innocence of every Christian that has been born again of the Spirit of God, by placing their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the salvation of their soul.
If you were to read these chapters consistently during the course of a month, I would have no doubt that a clear understanding of the doctrine of Justification would clear up any misconceptions one may have regarding the work God has done for us that we could not do for ourselves.
"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh," (Romans 8:3, ESV).
Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.